Care homes face axe in cutbacks

TWO care homes in South Yorkshire face the axe under NHS cutbacks.

Health chiefs in Sheffield are warning Birch Avenue and Woodland View care homes, which together care for 100 patients with dementia, will close if they decide to withdraw top-up funding worth 2.8m towards their running costs.

Officials say the homes, in Chapeltown and Norton, which are run by two housing associations, are twice as expensive as other care homes providing similar care for people with similar needs.

NHS Sheffield's interim chief executive, Ian Atkinson, said: "We know that the quality of care provided at Birch Avenue and Woodland View is high, but there is no evidence that they provide sufficient additional value to justify this extra cost to the taxpayer and to NHS services in Sheffield."

Health managers will meet on Tuesday to discuss the future of the homes with a recommendation to either continue funding or withdraw it.

Mr Atkinson added: "We are aware that if the board decides it must withdraw the money, and use it on other much-needed Sheffield care and treatment, that this will affect all residents and staff at the homes as it will almost certainly lead to their closure.

"If this happens, we would consult with residents, their families, carers and staff about this before making a final decision. Safeguarding the residents' health and wellbeing is our absolute priority."

No closure would take place until 2012. Redundancy costs for staff would come to a maximum of 2.5m.